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Finatem III: Lichtbasis Acquires Leuchtwerk

Frankfurt am Main, 31 May 2016 – As of 1st of January 2016, Lichtbasis, one of Finatem’s portfolio companies, has acquired the Hamburg-based Leuchtwerk light > production GmbH. Leuchtwerk is a developer and assembler of high-quality LED lighting indoor solutions. Leuchtwerk has a customer portfolio of well-known retail brands, with focus on textile clients.

The add-on acquisition strengthens the product range of Lichtbasis in the area of integrated LED luminaires and enables Lichtbasis to offer its own white-label product category. The founder and managing director of Leuchtwerk Dirk Larsen will become a minority shareholder of the integrated Lichtbasis group and will continue to be operationally active in the group.

Estenfeld based Lichtbasis is one of the largest lighting specialists in Europe, and is a portfolio company of Finatem since July 2014. Finatem supports the growth of the company alongside the management in a rapidly changing lighting market.

National expansion for CET following bolt on acquisition

Dunedin backed CET, which supplies specialist outsourced services to the construction and insurance sectors, today announced that it has acquired Doncaster based materials testing company, Construction Testing Solutions ("CTS"), in a transaction valued at £3m. This acquisition further cements CET’s position as a leading UKAS accredited testing and outsourcing powerhouse in the UK.

The acquisition, funded by the company’s own cashflow, will enable CET to expand its geographical reach across the UK. With testing centres also located in the Midlands, Scotland and the South, it can now provide clients from the construction sector, such as Aggregate Industries and VolkerWessels UK, with a nationwide infrastructure outsourcing service. High profile construction projects in which CET is also involved over the long term include ongoing upgrades to national rail infrastructure (e.g. Crossrail), ports (e.g. DP World) and airports (e.g. Heathrow).

The acquisition also forms part of an active expansion programme that has seen CET achieve year on year growth, with both revenues and EBITDA increasing by 75% over the past 3 years. In addition to pursuing acquisitive growth, the company has also invested heavily in IT and now offers clients a paperless, technology enabled outsourcing proposition that is unrivalled in the market. 

By acquiring Doncaster based CTS, CET will be ideally placed to capitalise on increasing construction activity in the North, which is set to rise over the next decade as a result of the National Infrastructure Plan, the Northern Powerhouse Project and the Transport for the North initiative. The UK Government has committed £13bn of funding to transform transport infrastructure in the North over the next five years.

Bob Blunden, CEO of CET, commented: “The acquisition of CTS is a significant development for CET as it enables us to establish a strong foothold in the North – both to capitalise on the significant construction opportunities that exist in the region but also to strengthen the nationwide service that we are increasingly offering to our national clients. It is also an opportunity for us to back CTS’s experienced management team led by Jon Hardcastle and Kevin Tonge, and we look forward to working with them to expand their materials testing capabilities.”

David Williams, Senior Partner at Dunedin and Chairman of CET, commented: “The last three years have seen CET grow substantially in terms of its revenue, profitability and market share, as well as the breadth and quality of service that it offers clients.  This is to the great credit of the team, led by Bob Blunden. This latest acquisition is an important element of continuing and consolidating CET’s year on year growth. The business is now extremely well positioned to capitalise on the major drive to improve Northern infrastructure over the next five to ten years.”

Dunedin backed the management buyout of CET Group in 2005. This is the twelfth acquisition to be completed by a Dunedin backed company in the last sixteen months.

Dunedin- EV Offshore Acquires Epidote

Dunedin backed EV Offshore (“EV”), which designs, manufactures and provides high performance, ruggedised video cameras that are used to diagnose and analyse problems in oil and gas wells, has completed the acquisition of Epidote Limited (“Epidote”). The transaction value is undisclosed.

Investment in the oil and gas industry has been affected by low oil prices. However, EV is an example of a business that is positively bucking this trend, investing in a strategic capability that will allow it to best support the needs of its clients. 

Dunedin backed the £69m MBO of EV in June 2014.

This is the 11th acquisition to be made by a Dunedin backed company in the last twelve months.

Based in Aberdeen and established in 1999, Epidote is a software company specialising in the presentation and analysis of oil and gas well integrity data. The acquisition of Epidote will enable EV to diagnose problems in oil and gas wells faster and more effectively. 

Oliver Bevan, Partner of Dunedin who sits on EV’s board, commented: “Dunedin continues to work alongside the management team to support the growth of EV in what has been a turbulent time for the sector as a whole. This acquisition illustrates our commitment to enhancing the company’s technological offering in order to reduce costs and improve results for its clients. It also forms part of EV’s wider strategy to broaden its service offering, and in turn achieve significant growth.”

Jonathan Thursby, Founder and Technical Director of EV, commented: “The acquisition opens up many new and exciting possibilities for EV and allows us to reinforce our position as the world leader in downhole diagnostics.”

EV is the market leader in downhole video, splitting its headquarters between Norwich and Aberdeen, and employing 120 employees. EV continues to expand and currently operates in more than 35 countries.

Brentwood Associates Invests in Pacific Catch

Pacific Catch, a Westcoast Fish House serving fresh seafood inspired by the culinary traditions of the Pacific, announced that Brentwood Associates, a leading consumer-focused private equity firm, has made a significant investment in the company.  Steve Stoddard, CEO, and the former CEO of Restaurants Unlimited, will continue to lead the existing management team.  In partnership with Brentwood, the company expects to expand the Pacific Catch brand into new markets around the country.

Founded by experienced restaurant and culinary veterans Keith Cox and Aaron Noveshen, Pacific Catch opened its first restaurant in 2003 in San Francisco, CA, where its headquarters remains today.  The Pacific Catch concept is reminiscent of casual Hawaiian, Japanese, and Baja fish houses and was created to address an underserved and fragmented seafood market.  Pacific Catch offers chef-quality seafood prepared to order, with on-trend Pan-Asian, sushi, and Latin flavors, while serving the growing consumer demand for healthy, delicious food, all in a casual dining atmosphere.  The Company’s menu ranges from its popular Hawaiian Poke to Pan-Asian rice bowls to seasonal Daily Catch specials.  The Company is committed to serving the most sustainable fish available and being a positive force in the communities it serves.

“The Pacific Catch team is proud to serve a healthful, Pacific-inspired menu showcasing local ingredients to create a high-quality experience for our guests,” said founder Keith Cox.  “As we look to open new restaurant locations both within and outside of our core Bay Area market, we are pleased to have found a partner that shares our passion for great food and fantastic service and can support our vision for the concept.  Brentwood’s track record of successfully expanding leading national brands and restaurants will be valuable as Pacific Catch enters its next stage of growth.”

“Pacific Catch is a highly differentiated restaurant concept with excellent leadership, an inspiring and flavorful menu, and a great culture of supporting community and sustainability,” said Rahul Aggarwal, Partner at Brentwood. “We look forward to our partnership with Steve and the rest of the team.”

Pacific Catch represents the fifth investment that Brentwood has made in the restaurant industry in the last decade.  Prior and current restaurant investments include Zoës Kitchen, Veggie Grill, Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar, and K-Mac Holdings Corp.

“We are very excited to work with the Pacific Catch team in realizing their expansion strategy,” said Anthony Choe, Partner at Brentwood. “The concept is resonating with customers, and has demonstrated outstanding performance to date, positioning the company well for future growth.”

Pacific Catch was represented by Veritas Corporate Law, and Brentwood was represented by Burr & Forman LLP.

Wincove Invests in Aloi Solutions

Wincove Private Holdings, LP (“Wincove”) announced that it has recently led a recapitalization of Aloi Solutions, LLC (“Aloi”).

Headquartered in Rochester, NY, Aloi is a leading integrator and value-added distributor of material handling and automation solutions for a diverse range of industries, including the grocery, food & beverage, industrial, personal care, and automotive markets. The Company offers a large product portfolio, which it integrates with deep engineering experience and high levels of service. Solutions are designed to optimize capacity, improve workflow and safety, and reduce labor costs.

“We are excited to partner with Bob Manion and Jeff Gambrill, executive management of Aloi,” said Michael McGovern, partner of Wincove. “Jeff and Bob have built a great business that provides exceptional service to its customers. We are proud to be investors in the Company.”

Jeff Gambrill commented, “Bob and I are eager to pursue future growth initiatives with Wincove as our partner. We have spent a great deal of time with Mike and his partner John Lenahan over the past six months, and we are confident that Wincove’s experience and track record of building businesses will help fuel our continued growth.”

Nazca Closes The Investment In Juan Luna

NAZCA CAPITAL has closed (through its Fund Nazca III) the investment in Distribuciones Juan Luna, an specialized supplier of processed food, mainly focused on the slicing and packaging of cheese and pork products. The Luna family (founders and current managers) will remain as shareholders of the company.

Headquartered in Sollana (Valencia) with over 200 employees, Juan Luna is the largest specialist in slicing and packaging of cheese and pork products in Spain, with sales of €54 million, and double digit sales growth over the last 4 years. The company has a wide product range (with 1.800 references and 9 brands, being the main brand Juan Luna) and a differential service model; its main clients are the large food retailers in Spain. Exports account for almost 15% of its sales, being present in Europe and Latin America.

In this new stage, Distribuciones Juan Luna aim to maintain a double digit sales growth, through its current products and the entry in new segments, both at national and international level. On this purpose, the company will perform investments which will allow to increase its current production capacity and to adapt current installations to the requirements of the growth project.

Finatem III Fund Divests WST Präzisionstechnik Generating 3.5x GCOC with GIRR > 40%

Frankfurt– On 30 March 2016 the Finatem III Fund as majority shareholder together with the management signed an agreement regarding the sale of 100% of the shares and the outstanding shareholder loans of WST Präzisionstechnik GmbH, Löffingen to a German NewCo backed by a Paris based 500 million mid cap fund. The transaction is subject to German antitrust clearance only.

When Finatem acquired WST in 2012, the company being specialised on high-precision turning parts for the automotive industry generated sales of EUR 38 million. It was a typical lower mid-cap market player with owner centric organisational structure, limited production space and low capital reserves for future investments. In addition, WST was working as loan manufacturer mainly with high dependency on one single customer and was running on in-house developed ERP software.

After the entry Finatem injected not only growth capital but also provided organisational and technical expertise through its advisory board. The management team as well as human resources in engineering have been significantly expanded. As a result, WST not only continued to grow with existing customers but also gained access to other German premium OEM. As of today, the company is regarded as a valued early stage engineering partner.

Finatem further supported a significant site expansion project doubling the production area at the company’s main site in Löffingen, providing state of the art energy efficient logistic and social facilities which were completed in early 2016. In addition, the company successfully implemented SAP as the standard ERP system.

The success of the company is also reflected in the financial metrics: with sales reaching EUR 64 million in 2015 an annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19% was achieved. Consequently, the number of employees increased from 210 to over 400 and the company has been awarded local “Job Motor” several times.

Proceeds to the fund represent a gross cash multiple of 3.5x capital invested and a respective gross IRR exceeding 40%, based on expected closing at the end of April 2016.

Finatem achieved an underlying enterprise valuation of this transaction in the upper end of current market valuation for automotive transactions. This is due to the excellent positioning of WST with European blue-chip-OEM-customers, the strong management team and the prospering future growth opportunities based on global automotive trends such as fuel efficiency and engine downsizing, as well as the untapped internationalisation potential in the NAFTA region and China.

With the sale to the new owner the company can now enter into the next stage of its development.

About Finatem

As an independent partner-managed private equity firm based in Frankfurt, Finatem invests in majority buyouts of companies with business activities and/or know-how particularly in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The company focuses on midmarket companies with sales worth between €25 million and €125 million, operating in traditional industries, and presenting a clear potential for growth. With its extensive industrial experience and its international network as co-founder of the leading private equity network “Alliance for Global Growth”, Finatem is a reliable partner for its portfolio companies, helping them to meet the challenges they encounter in market globalisation.

Contact

www.finatem.de   info@finatem.de

Finatem Beteiligungsgesellschaft
Christophe Hemmerle
Daniel Kartje
Alexander Stein

Feldbergstraße 35
60323 Frankfurt am Main
Germany
Telephone: +49 (69) 509564-0
Telefax: +49 (69) 509564-30
E-Mail: info@finatem.de

Managing Directors: Christophe Hemmerle, Dr. Robert Hennigs
Registration Office: Amtsgericht Frankfurt am Main
Company ID: HRB 57281
VAT-Id.: DE230974962

 

Axcel Invests in Family-Owned Payroll Specialist LESSOR

Axcel is to buy the LESSOR Group, a specialist in IT-based payroll and HR systems through its two brands LESSOR and Danløn. Axcel will continue to pursue the growth plan that has helped the LESSOR Group to acquire a leading position in the market for payroll systems for private companies.

The LESSOR Group was founded by the Fich family in 1972. Since 1999, the business has enjoyed average annual growth of just under 10% and robust earnings. Today, the Group has around 47,000 customers in Denmark and abroad, and upwards of 850,000 employees have their salaries paid out through a system developed by the LESSOR Group.

"It is not without sadness that we're selling the family's life's work, which was started by our father, William Fich, in 1972, but after more than 40 years of constant growth, we feel the time has come to pass on the baton," says CEO Henrik Fich, speaking on behalf of himself and his sister Mette Fich Blomqvist, who also occupies a senior position in the Group.

"With Axcel as owner, we'll remain an independent company and can continue to deliver innovative and market-leading solutions within payroll and HR administration for private companies. This means there will be no changes for customers, partners or our employees in the LESSOR Group as a result of the change of ownership," concludes Henrik Fich.

Axcel: LESSOR an extremely well-run family business

"The LESSOR Group has historically achieved impressive sales and earnings growth based on innovative solutions, high levels of customer satisfaction and very committed employees. We believe this strong momentum can be maintained in the Danish market and even more impetus given to expansion in a number of new markets," says partner Christian Bamberger Bro, who together with Christoffer Müller is responsible for the investment at Axcel.

"The combination of organic growth opportunities, geographical expansion, increased investments in product development and opportunities for acquisitive growth makes the LESSOR Group a very exciting company and an interesting investment prospect," concludes Christian Bamberger Bro.

The purchase of the LESSOR Group will be the tenth investment in Axcel IV. The transaction is subject to the approval of the competition authorities.

The Fich family was advised by FIH Partners, Plesner and PwC. Axcel was advised by Kromann Reumert and Deloitte.

Axcel

Christian Bamberger Bro Tel.: +45 4099 3939

e-mail: cbb@axcel.dk

Christian Frigast Tel.: +45 2632 6400

e-mail: cf@axcel.dk

LESSOR

Henrik Fich

Tel.: +45 4816 6000

e-mail: hf@lessor.dk

About Axcel

Founded in 1994 by a group of investors from Denmark's largest financial and industrial companies, Axcel is a Nordic private equity firm focusing on mid-market companies and has a broad base of both Danish and international investors. It has raised four funds with total committed capital of around DKK 10 billion and has made 43 investments along with  more than 80 significant bolt-on acquisitions. So far, 34 of the companies in which it has invested have been sold or floated. Axcel's investments currently include nine portfolio companies, representing combined revenue of approximately DKK 6 billion and around 4,000 employees. See www.axcel.dk.

About LESSOR

The LESSOR Group has been supplying solutions for small, medium-sized and large companies since 1972. The focus of the Group is on supplying efficient and flexible IT solutions for payroll, time and attendance, shift scheduling and HR – solutions that can make everyday life easier for customers. Today, more than 45,000 Danish and 1,500 international companies use one or more of the LESSOR Group's solutions, which are marketed under the brands LESSOR and Danløn, targeting large and medium-sized, and small companies respectively.

Silver Oak Services Partners Leads Recapitalization of PLA

Evanston, IL – March 29, 2016

Silver Oak Services Partners, LLC (“Silver Oak”), a lower middle market private equity firm focused exclusively on service businesses, announced it has led the recapitalization of Pallet Logistics of America (“PLA” or the “Company”) in partnership with management and co-investors.

PLA is a leading provider of recycled pallets and pallet management services. Founded in 1989 and headquartered in Dallas, the Company has recycling operations in Dallas, San Antonio, Houston, Oklahoma City, and Tulsa. PLA provides recycling and repair services facilitating the re-use of previously used wood pallets, helping companies across the supply chain capture value from an otherwise wasted asset.

“We are excited about our partnership with Silver Oak, which provides the additional capital resources and expertise we need to significantly grow the company,” said Jim Schwab, CEO of PLA. Jim Schwab and the existing management team will continue in their current roles with PLA and retain a significant ownership stake in the business.

Silver Oak was attracted to pallet recycling services as a compelling sector for investment due to the recurring nature of demand for pallets in the supply chain, high fragmentation of the industry, low level of capital intensity, and an opportunity for high impact from applying process improvements and investing in automation. Dan Gill, Managing Partner at Silver Oak, said, “We are excited to partner with the team at PLA. We believe they have developed a best-in-class platform from which to grow.” Wade Glisson, Principal at Silver Oak, added, “PLA has a strong reputation as an industry leader for customer service, product quality, and innovation. We look forward to building upon PLA’s impressive track record of growth.” PLA is actively looking for add-on acquisition opportunities.

Please contact Dan Gill or Wade Glisson of Silver Oak for additional information.

Silver Oak invests in business, consumer and healthcare services companies in the lower middle market, typically with EBITDA of $3 million to $20 million.

Forum Capital Congratulates Silver Oak Services Partners on its Final Close of Fund III at its $335 Million Hard Cap

NEW YORK, March 18, 2016 – Forum Capital Partners (“Forum”) is delighted to congratulate
Silver Oak Services Partners (“Silver Oak”) on successfully completing the fundraising for Silver
Oak Services Partners Fund III, L.P. (“Fund III”), with total commitments at the hard cap of $335
million.

Forum is proud to have partnered with Silver Oak for many years serving as strategic advisor and
placement agent for Silver Oak Services Partners Funds II and III. Fund III received strong support
from both existing and new investors including leading corporate pension plans, funds of funds,
insurance companies, endowments and foundations, public pension funds and family offices.

“We are gratified by the strong market reception to Fund III, which swiftly cleared the market and
exceeded its target in three months,” said Robert Schwabe, Managing Partner of Forum Capital.
“The successful and efficient fundraising is directly attributable to the strength and experience of
Silver Oak’s team and differentiated investment approach.”

Silver Oak will continue to execute its disciplined investment strategy focused exclusively on control
investments in targeted sectors of the business, consumer, and healthcare services industries in the
United States. Silver Oak’s unique approach is characterized by a proactive, research-led investment
process to identify attractive services sectors and related actionable investment opportunities that
will benefit from Silver Oak’s industry expertise, relationships and disciplined value creation
methodology.

About Forum Capital Partners:
Forum Capital Partners (www.forumcp.com), through its SEC-registered broker-dealer, Forum
Capital Securities LLC, serves as strategic advisor and placement agent to select private equity and
real assets managers seeking to raise institutional capital. Founded in 2001 by Jeffrey Stern and
Robert Schwabe, Forum has raised more than $11 billion of institutional capital for buyout, growth
equity, real estate, infrastructure, natural resources and direct private equity transactions.

About Silver Oak:
Founded in 2005, Silver Oak Services Partners is a lower-middle market private equity firm focused
on partnering with exceptional management teams to build industry leading business, consumer and
healthcare services companies. Silver Oak utilizes a proactive, research-led investment process to
identify attractive services sectors and seek out the best potential management teams and investment
opportunities. Silver Oak brings extensive services industry expertise and relationships to its
investments and works closely with their management teams to drive long-term value
creation. Silver Oak’s principals have a long history of services private equity investing and have
demonstrated an ability to navigate through varying economic and market conditions. For more
information, visit www.silveroaksp.com.

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